What we find out about Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal amid fears of conflict with Israel | EUROtoday

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After 9 months of cross-border battle with Hezbollah, Israel says it’s making ready for a full-scale conflict in Lebanon, warning the time for diplomacy is working out.

Hezbollah, a militia and political celebration that grew out of Lebanon’s civil conflict to grow to be one of many strongest non-state actors within the Middle East, has been making ready for this second since 2006, when Israeli forces final invaded the nation.

It has obtained massive shipments of rockets and drones from Iran, its principal patron, and has extra just lately begun to supply its personal weapons. The group additionally boasts air protection capabilities, which most militias don’t have.


Hezbollah’s identified rocket and missiles

Max. vary (in miles)

Reported assaults since Oct. 7

Incidents embrace airstrikes and

shelling, in addition to drone, artillery

and missile assaults.

Note: The Golan Heights have been seized by Israel in 1967

and illegally annexed in 1981.

Source: ACLED. Data as of June 28

Hezbollah’s identified rocket and missiles

Max. vary (in miles)

Reported assaults since Oct. 7

Incidents embrace airstrikes and

shelling, in addition to drone, artillery

and missile assaults.

Note: The Golan Heights have been seized by Israel in 1967

and illegally annexed in 1981.

Source: ACLED. Data as of June 28

Reported assaults since Oct. 7

Incidents embrace airstrikes and

shelling, in addition to drone, artillery

and missile assaults.

( Annexed by Israel

in 1981. Not internationally

recognized.)

Source: ACLED. Data as of June 28

The group’s arsenal contains guided and unguided rockets, antitank artillery, ballistic and antiship missiles, in addition to explosives-laden drones — portending a fancy, multi-front battle that would attain far into Israeli territory.

Analysts estimate Hezbollah has between 130,000 and 150,000 rockets and missiles, greater than 4 instances as many as its ally Hamas was believed to have stockpiled earlier than the conflict in Gaza. And the Lebanese group says it instructions greater than 100,000 troopers, nicely over double the high-end estimates of Hamas’s prewar preventing power.

Most of Hezbollah’s weapons are lower-grade, unguided munitions, which might threaten Israel’s aerial protection programs if unleashed in massive numbers. Even extra regarding for Israel are precision munitions the group has mentioned it possesses.

Hezbollah retains a decent lid on its arsenal, leaving weapons consultants to guess concerning the full extent of its capabilities. Much of what’s publicly identified comes from statements by the group, and its chief, Hasan Nasrallah, who says his fighters have solely used “a portion of our weapons” in escalating assaults on northern Israel since Oct. 8.

Israel’s army has retaliated with intense strikes on Lebanon, principally within the south, utilizing fighter jets, tanks, Hermes drones and white phosphorus munitions.

Tens of hundreds of civilians have been displaced on each side of the border.

At least 94 civilians and greater than 300 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Israeli strikes in Lebanon, in response to figures compiled by The Washington Post. The assaults have brought on $1.5 billion in damages and have destroyed round 1,700 buildings, the Lebanese authorities estimates.

Israeli officers say Hezbollah assaults have killed 18 troopers and 12 civilians. They have additionally broken a whole bunch of properties and ignited fires that burned greater than 40,000 acres.

Hezbollah first began hitting northern Israel a day after Hamas-led militants stormed the nation and killed some 1,200 folks. The group has mentioned it should proceed preventing till Israel agrees to a cease-fire in Gaza.

Hezbollah has used totally different short-range missiles and rockets, at first concentrating on tanks and different technical gear close to the border earlier than progressing to assaults on army barracks and bases.

On Nov. 11, Nasrallah revealed Hezbollah was utilizing Burkan rockets. An improvised rocket-assisted munition that may be simply assembled, the Burkan has grow to be a “signature weapon of Iran-supported groups in the region,” in response to Fabian Hinz, a protection and army analyst on the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


Hezbollah’s identified

rocket and missiles

Max. vary (in miles)

Attacks reported since Oct. 7

Note: The Golan Heights have been seized by Israel in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.

Source: ACLED. Data as of June 28

Attacks reported since Oct. 7

Hezbollah’s identified rocket and missiles

Max. vary (in miles)

Source: ACLED. Data as of June 28

Note: The Golan Heights have been seized by Israel in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.

The Alma Research and Education Center, an Israeli assume tank, says the weapon could be fired from a floor launcher and might trigger “extensive destruction” as much as 500 ft from the purpose of affect.

Gen. Mounir Shehadeh, a former Lebanese authorities coordinator to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, mentioned the Burkan was first used and examined by Hezbollah in Syria — the place Nasrallah deployed fighters to prop up President Bashar al-Assad throughout the nation’s civil conflict.

Nasrallah additionally revealed in November that the group was utilizing Katyusha rockets. Originally made by the Soviet Union and copied by Iran, they will journey 12 to 24 miles and are fired in a sequence.

Although they’re unguided, Hinz says Hezbollah “can fire lots of them because they are cheap and, until certain ranges, they work.”

In an interview with Hezboallah’s Al-Manar TV in early July, an artillery officer, recognized as Hajj Muhammad Ali, talking together with his face blurred and voice altered, mentioned the group is able to firing 100 Katyushas at a time from truck-mounted launchers.

Iranian-made Raad rockets have been utilized by Hezbollah in a lethal assault on the Israeli port metropolis of Haifa throughout the 2006 conflict, however haven’t been unleashed but throughout this spherical of preventing.

In January, after Israel killed prime commander Wissam Tawil, Hezbollah began showcasing extra subtle rockets, together with the Iranian-made Falaq mannequin. This was adopted by camera-equipped Almas weapons, guided antitank missiles that may pierce heavy armor.

Larger guided ballistic missiles, just like the Fateh 110, current a higher risk, with a variety of as much as 185 miles, probably placing Tel Aviv, and even Jerusalem, within the crosshairs. Similar missiles have been utilized by Iran in an unprecedented — however well-telegraphed — aerial assault in opposition to Israel earlier this yr, giving the Israeli army time to intercept them. It’s unclear what affect they could have if launched from throughout the border in Lebanon, particularly in massive numbers.

Nasrallah mentioned in 2018 that Hezbollah possesses precision-guided munitions (PGMs), however the group has by no means examined or showcased them in public. More just lately, in 2022, he claimed Hezbollah has the power to “transform our rockets … into precision missiles” with the assistance of Iranian consultants.

Analysts say he might be referring to one thing just like the Spice kits the United States supplies to Israel to retrofit “dumb bombs” into precision munitions.

PGMs are more practical as a result of they “they’re equipped with active seekers,” mentioned Shaan Shaikh, a fellow on the Center for Strategic and International Studies and deputy director of its Missile Defense Project.

“Nasrallah has talked about it, the [Israel Defense Forces] has raised concerns. … But it’s hard to say anything definitive without proof,” he added.


Some of Hezbollah’s identified

missiles and rockets

Short-range ballistic missile

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are

for illustrative functions solely. Not to scale.

Sources: Hezbollah official statements, CSIS,

Army Recognition, Cat-Uxo

Some of Hezbollah’s identified

missiles and rockets

Short-range ballistic missile

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are

for illustrative functions solely. Not to scale.

Sources: Hezbollah official statements, CSIS,

Army Recognition, Cat-Uxo

Some of Hezbollah’s identified missiles and rockets

Short-range ballistic missile

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are

for illustrative functions solely. Not to scale.

Sources: Hezbollah official statements, CSIS, Army Recognition, Cat-Uxo

Some of Hezbollah’s identified missiles and rockets

Short-range ballistic missile

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are for illustrative functions solely. Not to scale.

Sources: Hezbollah official statements, CSIS, Army Recognition, Cat-Uxo

Hezbollah is secretive about its arsenal, Hinz mentioned. It took 13 years for the group to disclose that it used a C-802 missile to sink an Israeli ship in 2006.

Antiship missiles is also used to hit offshore oil rigs, particularly in Israel’s Leviathan gasoline subject — a goal the group alluded to in a video final month.

Hezbollah has a big fleet of drones at its disposal, various in dimension, form and functionality.

According to official statements, the group first began utilizing explosive-laden drones on Nov. 2 in an assault on an Israeli military put up within the Golan Heights, footage of which was later launched on its Telegram account. The IDF mentioned two troopers have been injured.

Hinz says the kind of drone used on this and different assaults have been most definitely modeled after the Iranian Ababil-T drone, which the Alma Research and Education Center says can journey about 75 miles with practically 90 kilos of explosives.

In mid-May, after Israeli forces invaded Rafah, in southern Gaza, Hezbollah unleashed a extra superior model that may fireplace two rockets and explode upon affect. The unmanned aerial automobile was first utilized in a May 16 assault on an Israeli military garrison close to the border, which injured three troopers, the IDF mentioned.


Some of the drones believed

for use by Hezbollah

Range

Max. velocity

Max. ceiling

74.5 miles

190 mph

9,800 ft.

It could be geared up

with 88 kilos of explosives.

A video revealed by Hezbollah

on May 16 indicated that two S5 rockets

have been fired from pipes fitted on the UAV’s wings.

Distance

Max. velocity

Flight time

Max ceiling

11.2 miles

44.7 mph

31 min.

19,685 ft.

Max. velocity

Flight time

Max. ceiling

45 mph

30 min.

19,685 ft.

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are for illustrative functions solely.

Some of the drones believed for use by Hezbollah

Range

Max. velocity

Max. ceiling

74.5 miles

190 mph

9,800 ft.

It could be geared up

with 88 kilos of explosives.

Max. velocity

Flight time

Max. ceiling

45 mph

30 min.

19,685 ft.

Distance

Max. velocity

Flight time

Max ceiling

11.2 miles

44.7 mph

31 min.

19,685 ft.

A video revealed

by Hezbollah on May 16

indicated that two S5 rockets

have been fired from pipes fitted

on the UAV’s wings

Note: Illustrations are primarily based in low decision photos and are for illustrative functions solely.

Although Iran is Hezbollah’s essential arms provider, the group has grow to be extra self-reliant lately. “Today, we in Lebanon, and for a long time, have begun manufacturing drones,” Nasrallah mentioned in 2022, a declare he reiterated in June.

Hezbollah has additionally used industrial drones for reconnaissance, and to check for gaps in Israel’s aerial defenses. In late June, a drone flew undetected over Haifa for hours, recording footage of strategic websites. Alma believes it was an Iranian-made Hudhud-1 UAV; Hezbollah has not confirmed the mannequin.

It is uncommon for non-state actors like Hezbollah to have air protection capabilities, signaling the extent of the group’s preparedness for conflict.

Hezbollah has used surface-to-air munitions, most notably the Iranian-made 358 antiaircraft missile, to shoot down Israeli drones, in response to Hinz.

On no less than two events, the group additionally claims to have used extra subtle munitions — probably the Iranian Sayyad-2C, Hinz mentioned, a radar-guided missile that may attain targets at practically 90,000 ft — in opposition to Israeli fighter jets, forcing them to retreat.

Such capabilities might current a novel, and weird, problem to Israel’s air superiority. “Hezbollah is far better equipped than Hamas,” Shaikh mentioned.

In early June, in response to the killing of a senior commander, Hezbollah lobbed 150 rockets and 30 drones in a single barrage, the biggest such assault on Israel from the north. On Thursday, after one other Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah commander, the group upped the ante once more, firing greater than 200 rockets.

In an all-out conflict, these so-called “saturation attacks” — wherein a whole bunch of small rockets are launched on the identical time — might overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome.

“They’ve already spent a lot of Iron Dome interceptors during the war in Gaza,” Hinz mentioned. “How many do they have left?”

The Fateh ballistic missiles is also unleashed in salvos, consultants say, elevating different vital questions on Israel’s stage of preparation.

“How effective are David’s Sling and Arrow interceptors against these missiles?” Shaikh questioned, referring to Israel’s protection programs for medium- and long-range missiles. “Can the IDF detect, track and fire on these missiles while they’re being prepped for launch?”

“There’s a lot we don’t know.”

Lior Soroka in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/10/hezbollah-weapons-israel-war-border-nasrallah/